Julie Boyd

When God Speaks

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Written by Julie Boyd

Watching my dad go through the last days of life on this earth was enlightening for him and life-changing for me. It’s definitely been a process and a daily revelation of truth.

I was there when it happened. He woke me up from his hospital bed as I was in a deep sleep on a nearby couch. Of course I thought he was in distress and quickly rushed to his side thinking “Is this it?” But, that night he wasn’t in distress. In fact, it was the opposite. He had a peaceful countenance and was wide awake at 2 am after 24 hours of zero sleep. He began. “I’m changed. God has healed me.” I probed. He continued,

“I can see now that God’s been trying to show me it’s my pride that made me think I had to keep living so I could take care of your mother. When it’s not me at all. God takes care of us, and He will take us when he’s good and ready. I’ve been so full of pride, striving and thinking I was in control; worried with fear of what would happen to her.”

He began to tell me how God used a sermon he heard on TV the night before. “Fess up when you mess up!” He recounted how the pastor spoke simply of confessing pride. He said,

    “I didn’t realize that was my problem until today when God showed me that I could not take care of myself in the very basic functions of human life much less your mama. He showed me that my life is not my own. I’ve been laying here confessing my sins since midnight. My sin of pride. I feel so free. So full of love for everyone. I know I was saved at 22 and that God has been with me and worked through me many times throughout my adult life, but something special happened tonight. Something different. It was a benchmark. I’m ready for whatever he has for me. If he leaves me here and uses me to take care of mama for a week a month or a year… so be it. But if not, He has a plan for how he will take care of her because we both belong to God. It’s not me….it’s Him and who was I to think I could do it or control it?”

It was a simply titled sermon with the age old message of confession of sin that spoke tenderly to my dad. Not big words and theological expository preaching. A simple word from I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It may be intellectually profound teaching, an eloquent speech, simple alliteration, a poem, a song or even creation, but there is no chance a man’s heart is touched unless the Holy Spirit draws, convicts and convinces. He pulls together all points in time to show a man his need for God. It won’t be because we’ve been entertained, persuaded with strong argument or wooed with a kind and compassionate message. It’s all God and His revelation of Himself. Sometimes we feel in our core that God’s given us an opportunity to speak to just the right soul who needs to hear it. It’s a heart-pounding, can’t-keep it-to-myself moment when you know that what God has revealed to you from His Word is meant to be shared, whether it’s for your own personal confirmation and confession or so others can also experience God.

My dad had to tell it. That night at 2:00 am he called my mom and both my sisters. He didn’t care what time it was. God had opened his eyes, had spoken to him and he wanted those he loved the most to know it first.

Eight weeks later my dad took his final breath on this earth. Our family grieves my dad’s passing. We question daily, “How do we take care of mama?” And then I remember daddy’s words. “Mama belongs to God. I will not worry or fear what lies ahead. I will confess the pride that I can control things. I will remember He’s in control.”

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